A Stairway to Heaven

stairway.jpgYesterday I re-posted a blog which ended in a quote from the Dalai Lama:  “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they got lost.”

That raised thoughts about the pursuit of happiness and whether such a seemingly hedonistic, self-indulgent goal is virtuous and whether it is compatible with a ‘good life’ in the religious sense.daily-choice

Aristotle enshrines happiness as a central purpose of human life and a goal in itself. His conclusion is that happiness depends on the cultivation of virtue

You have got to choose to be good to be happy and good is not that easy, sometimes.

bee happy.jpeg

 

 

 

  • Happiness is the ultimate end and purpose of human existence
  • Happiness is not pleasure, nor is it virtue. It is the exercise of virtue.
  • Happiness cannot be achieved until the end of one’s life. Hence it is a goal and not a temporary state.
  • Happiness is the perfection of human nature. Since man is a rational animal, human happiness depends on the exercise of his reason.
  • Happiness depends on acquiring a moral character, where one displays the virtues of courage, generosity, justice, friendship, and citizenship in one’s life. These virtues involve striking a balance or “mean” between an excess and a deficiency.
  • Happiness requires intellectual contemplation, for this is the ultimate realization of our rational capacities.

In keeping with the Stephen Covey model, 7 habits of happy people are identified:

  • Express your heart – People who have one or more close friendships are happier.
  • Cultivate kindness – Reach out
  • Keep moving and eat well – “sound body, sound mind” 
  • Find your flow – do what you’re doing  because you like what you’re doing
  • Discover Meaning – a close link exists between spiritual and religious practice and happiness
  • Discover and use your strengths – the happiest people are those that have discovered their unique strengths  and virtues and use those strengths and virtues for a purpose that is greater than their own personal goalspiglets-heart
  • Treasure gratitude, mindfulness, and hope – gratitude is one of the greatest virtues. It defeats pride which is the sneakiest of vices.

Most of the above comes from http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org

do-i-make-you-happyThis website has wonderful and good stuff on positive psychology and the pursuit of happiness. Check it out and start looking for your own stairways, y’all.

 

 

 

 

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Post Truth, et cetera…


deeducate

I thought it was about time for me to have a rant again. Enough of these pretty birds and gorgeous sunsets schmaltz … although I must say people seem to enjoy that type of stuff more than they do my rants. Does that signify anything? Not really … read on

It’s official: there is such a thing as post-truth – cheword-of-the-yearck it out, it’s in the dictionary, nogal!

This is the post-truth era! Suddenly dishonesty and inaccuracy are fashionable and accepted!  American author Ralph Keyes says: Dishonesty inspires more euphemisms than copulation or defecation. Well, that’s putting it roughly, but it pretty much sums up the state of articulation that is accepted by the all-consuming public.

post-truth

Kathleen Higgins writes in Scientific AmericanWhen political leaders make no effort to ensure that their ‘facts’ will bear scrutiny, we can only conclude that they take an arrogant view of the public. They take their right to lie as given, perhaps particularly when the lies are transpareart-of-the-lient. Many among the electorate seem not to register the contempt involved, perhaps because they would like to think that their favoured candidate is at conspiracyleast well-intentioned and would not deliberately mislead them…

Much of the public hears what it wants to hear because many people get their news exclusively from sources whose bias they agree with.

 

Stand up for truth: check the facts before you spread them; never believe politicians ever, and reject crap!

Post-truth is a disease which must be challenged before we lose reality and all honour.

truth

Media morality

time-for-lies

Slightly off the point but …what really got me going today is the lack of  ethics and creativity of television. I saw that “Married at First Sight” has become a series.

run-by-ethicsWhat morally bankrupt, banal, conscience-less executive producer agreed to that? How can these people justify the immoral drivel they feed into people’s heaaww-newsds .  Tempting people with TV exposure and cash to perform questionable, objectionable, offensive and immoral ceremonies is disgusting. Do you remember the film of the Depression-era dance marathon of the desperate for the amusement of spectators:“They shoot horses, don’t they?”  Why don’t they re-open the Colosseum in Rome and feed Christians to lions?

That’s post ethics, not just post-truth!

Is there no social responsibility or is it just ratings and ad dollars?reportedly

 

Media Creativity

The other morning there was a riveting item on a traffic jam in Melbourne. We are in Queensland – if there were no traffic jams here, why can’t we celebrate that fact, instead of scanning the country for newsworthy items like a traffic jam? No house fire, car driving into a house, lost hiker, corner store robbery – no worries, some other state is bound to have one…

Surely there are some creative journalists that can break out of the formulaic mould of car chase, brawl, house fire, criminal court case …?

Collecting mushrooms

Imushrooms-in-the-fieldn early summer, after the first rains, Mum used to take us out to look for mushrooms.
Us being my brother Tim and Bessie our bull terrier nanny. We used to go to the Mbabane Oval, which was a grass expanse in front of the Club. Sometimes we were  looking for the foot of the rainbow to find the pot of gold… but found mushrooms instead.

All mushrooms are not the same, she taught us. The best ones are the small white mushrooms with pink-brown gills. As they grow older, their bonnets open and the gills go dark brown. Mushrooms in sauce on toast … my mouth waters even now!

But, there is a dangerous mushroom that usually grows under trees, which looks similar but has white gills. Beware, that one is deadly poisonous. So are dubiousthe pink-spots-shroompink ones with white spots and the long tall ones and most of the little forest fungi.

In those days, mushrooms were mushrooms; we hadn’t heard of fancy ones like shiitake, fonterels, chanterelles and morels. I guess they would have seriously confused our clear identification of dangerous ones!

We were quite taken aback when our big brother, who was a tree enumerator (before he was a policeman), arrived back from the forests with a sackful of the ugliest toadstools one can imagine.Oesterreich Pilzgebuehr The Swazi name for them was makowe. With great trepidation we tried some, after we had seen him eat two plates full and not die. De-wonderfully-luscious!!

However, that really messed up our simple means of identifying edible fodder: some look like the common and garden button mushrooms but are dangerous, some look like  huge frog-kin but are delicious!
amethyst-deceiver

I suppose that is how we should treat people. Just because they are
different, doesn’t mean they are poisonous and some that look the same are very poisonous!

Find out before you trust a mushroom and beware of strange ones!

 

Am I special?

This guy writes a lot of stuff that I think. I don’t think we are specialthough… but sometimes maybe wannabe?

Ends and Beginnings

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”― Henry David Thoreau

I would consider myself a disciple of HDT (sorry to all you JC followers). I have spent my entire life wondering if I am special or ifI am living my life in “quiet desperation” as Henry David described.Honestly, I think the later.

I will make the natural assumption that to a handful of people I am “special”, tomy wife (most days), my children (all days), my…

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Giving Thanks

These are my thoughts too – better written by you!

Ends and Beginnings

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” –  Tecumseh

It’s easy sometimes to overlook everything that we have to be thankful for. We are quick to get bogged down in the minutiae of living, what we classify as an ordinary and dull existence. We simply take the life we have for granted. We compare it to the post we see from our “friends” on Facebook. But we forget that they are only showing us the good parts. There are people all over the world, and in our own backyard, that would trade our boring lives for the life they are experiencing and living right at this moment.

In Chattanooga, TN., five children were killed in…

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Angst, Ennui and Weltschmertz: Petrol of Inertia

how-old-beforeAngst is a type of anxiety that arises in response to nothing in particular, or the sense of nothingness itself. It’s not exactly fear and not the same as worry, but a simple fachappy-crisist of the human condition, a feeling that disrupts peace and contentment for no definable reason.

The mood has flitted through my mind from time to time.

Ennui ii-have-ennuis defined as a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction with connotations of self-indulgent posturing and European decadence. Just a bit frilly for me, like a lace handkerchief splashed with cologne, pressed to the brow.fainting-by-nos

Weltsworld-problemchmerz describes a world weariness felt from a perceived mismatch between the ideal image of how the world should be with how it really is.  Just a bit too saintly and clear cut for me.

 

My angst is that these feelings predominate amongst those that drove stalled the inert middle of the electorate in recent events, allowing the radical fringes to climb to the top of the dunghill and proclaim the virtues of their causes!

So the solutions, and it is not too late, are to exchange the cologne on the hanky for sal volatile to clear the ennui, energise the angsters and a kick in the weltschmerz for the others to get them moving.

You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”- Yogi Berra

 

I am grateful to Arika Okrent (lovely name) for some enlightenment on occasional moods and the gift of lovely words.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/58230/how-tell-whether-youve-got-angst-ennui-or-weltschmerz

Are we headed for chaos?

In recent times, chaos has attained a hallowed status through simplistic argument that it is a necessity for the rectification of society. In other words: everything is so fucked up, nothing can be fixed, so let’s break it down and trump-fingerbegin again.

putin-mh17There are some very wild cards now in play in global politics. They are not who might be called gentlemen. I would call them loose kim-jon-uncannons, who have abundant egos, few scruples and Messianistic delusions.

Most of them have some significant weapons to play with and some are itching to play with them.

duterteThen there are the others who are really nihilists and anarchists who have been fighting the world for some time.islam-co-exist

 

The electoral middle fingers that have been jabbed into the longstanding beacons of western democracy, Britain and the United States, and the Establishment in general, signal a strong swing to the ugly-middle-fingerright. Circle those wagons, don’t let any strangers near…

Governments heeding that finger will effect shrinkage in unrestrained freedom; liberal causes and fair go will be shelved for a while. There will be a lot more of: Do what I say and shut your mouth or we will shut it for you.

The policeman’s boots are going to get bigger.

Freedom of speech and the truth are always casualties in times of trouble.

It is sad but real: history has shown us again and again – in practice, we are not peaceful and fellow human loving by nature.

The pendulum swings back and forth… history repeats.

Read Tobias Stone’s article:

https://medium.com/@theonlytoby/history-tells-us-what-will-happen-next-with-brexit-trump-a3fefd154714#.v8mm4ygc9

View story at Medium.com